…Says rigging is coup d’etat
By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
Sokoto state governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has charged federal lawmakers to come up with legislation to treat election riggers as coup plotters, in a bid to checkmate the scourge of poll rigging in the country.
Governor Tambuwal gave the charge on Tuesday in a statement issued to mark the International Day of Democracy.
In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly set aside September 15 of every year as International Day of Democracy, with the sole aim of promoting the culture and tenets of democracy and invited member states and organizations to commemorate the day “in an appropriate manner that contributes to raising public awareness.”
According to Tambuwal, those who rig elections are no better than coup plotters, adding that unless appropriate legal sanctions are put in place, the war against rigging may be difficult to wage and prosecuted.
“Any electoral victory obtained other than through the legitimate votes of the people is nothing short of a coup d’etat. I call on the National Assembly to immediately conclude the long-overdue amendments to the Electoral Act to entrench provisions that make it impossible for rigging and manipulation of elections.
“In the same vein, any further amendments to the constitution must take cognizance of our experiences in previous elections,” the statement read in part even as it added that the time may have come for the introduction of technology “in our elections that are foolproof and such should be a test run with other elections before the general elections in 2023.”
He called on the relevant authorities to use this weekend’s governorship election in Edo state and the October 10 guber poll in Ondo to inform the world of Nigeria’s readiness to conduct credible elections.
“Indeed, the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo states are a test case of our preparedness for a rule based and consent enabled governance,” he noted even as he called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and security agencies to make professionalism their watchword before, during and after the polls.
“It has become imperative to rethink the role of not just the electoral umpire, but also the activities of various security agencies in our electoral process in such a manner as to instil in them the culture of inflexible support for democracy and its practice,” he added.